miss_s_b: (Mood: Facepalm)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Marks and Spencer and the National Autistic Society have launched a school uniform range aimed at the parents of autistic children. Note that I say aimed at the parents of autistic children, rather than aimed at autistic children. All the blurb is to do with how easy it is to put on, and how hardwearing it is. The subtext is that it's designed for kids who can't dress themselves. This is clearly aimed at parents.

The other way you can tell that actually autistic people were not involved in this is that if you ask any autistic person what is most important for them in clothing they will tell you it's the fabric it's made of. Many autistic people have comorbid eczema, and a lot of those that don't have sensory issues, which mean that fabric and texture are hugely important in clothing. Something that is in contact with your skin all day needs to be made of something non-irritating; that almost always means 100% natural fibres. Cotton, or bamboo, or silk, or modal. Sometimes wool, but sometimes not. NEVER SODDING POLYESTER. And some of the clothes in that M&S range are 65% polyester. And of course it's very wearying that the only clothing specifically designed to be worn by autistic people is school uniform, because nobody of above school age is autistic, and no autistic child ever wears non-uniform clothing. AND they've "removed pockets for comfort". I have never known an autistic person who didn't want MORE pockets, as long as they are made from 100% natural fibre too.

So what would clothing for autistic people actually look like? Well, from the conversation on twitter today:
  1. Clear, obvious fabric labelling on the rack/shelf. While most of us just want everything 100% cotton, some of us prefer other natural fabrics like linen, and some actively prefer viscose or modal. Some of us can cope with silk or wool, some can't. Every single one of us, though, would like to see fabrics clearly, obviously labelled on the rack, without having to go hunting through the clothes for a tiny illegible care label.

  2. No polyester. Not even a little bit. Not ever. No, not even in linings.

  3. Linings are important! Linings are the bit that is actually in contact with your skin, so they need to be all natural fibres too. Note, though, that this does not mean you can take a garment made out of something horrible and line it with cotton and it will be OK - outer fabrics need to be touchable too.

  4. Care labels to be made of the same fabric as the clothing, not scratchy plastic.

  5. Elastic to be covered with the fabric the clothes are made of, not left to be in contact with your skin.

  6. Flat seams! Or even NO seams!

  7. For Cthulhu's sake, SOMEBODY make some bras we can wear! It is really, really, incredibly difficult to get hold of cotton bras, to the extent that I have considered making my own. And even if/when you DO find them, they are covered in non-cotton frills and lace and fripperies. And have stupid care labels made of plastic right in the middle of your back.

  8. Comfort and fit are much much more important than being on trend. I saw an article the other day that low slung waist trousers are coming back into fashion and actually cried.

  9. Moar pockets, on everything, especially women's clothes - but again, made of the same fabric as the actual clothing

  10. Stop saying things are "cotton touch" or "cotton feel" or "cotton rich". All this does is bugger up searching for cotton things. And actually, make your website searchable by fabric. That would be amazing.
And a clothing store for autistic people?
  1. Would be lit sensibly, not with migraine-inducing lighting.

  2. Would have the afore-mentioned obvious, clear clothing labels on the shelf/rack.

  3. Would sort by size and colour as well as style.

  4. Would have assistants that wait to be approached rather than badgering you the second you enter the shop.

  5. Would not have music at all (many many autistic people love music, but find music that they don't like intensely irritating; whatever music you play some of us will like and some won't) and would ideally have sound baffling so that other people's conversations are not intrusive.

  6. Would open from (say) 12 till 8, rather than 9 to 5. Autistic people are more likely than others to have odd sleep patterns and/or working hours.
Now, if some kind banker or venture capitalist would like to give me a wad of cash to make this a reality... And to M&S and the NAS... I do appreciate that you're trying, and I don't wish to appear ungrateful, but if you consulted any actually autistic people in fomulating that clothing range it's not immediately obvious. Please, please, bear in mind the priorities of actually autistic people, not the parents of autistic children, when making clothing that the autistic people are actually meant to wear. Remember the phrase: nothing about us without us. Thank you.

Just One Thing (19 August 2017)

Aug. 19th, 2017 11:30 am
nanila: me (Default)
[personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] awesomeers
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.

Go!
vulgarweed: (OK by london_fan)
[personal profile] vulgarweed posting in [community profile] 221b_recs
Title: Curse of the Were-Tuna
Author: WhoGroovesOn
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 46,916
Rating: Explicit
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: John couldn’t help but feel as though the large tuna beyond the glass was staring at him, which was weird because it’s not like fish had eyelids, they always seemed to be staring at things.


Reccer's comments: The author says this isn't crack, but I think it's a shining gem of the crackfic genre - a premise that seems ridiculous on the surface treated with absolute commitment, until it becomes vivid and real. Take the plunge into this splashy tale of piscine lycanthropy and you'll never see a fishtank quite the same way again.

When wounded army vet John Watson applies for a job as an aquarium security guard, he has no idea what’s about to happen after dark.

This underrated author has a spectacular sense of worldbuilding, and this fic is suspenseful, sexy, vivid, hilarious and surprisingly touching. The plot twists come fast and furious, and I especially love this very inventive version of Moriarty and Moran (who are both female in this story). Fishnappings! Sushi-related threats! Weird and eldritch magic!

Also, it’s set in the London Aquarium and was written long before any pivotal scenes occurred there on the show.

Excerpt: Mycroft was the one who became the killjoy for the tuna pair. A few days after the discovery of their morse code capabilities Mycroft appeared at the window of their tank. Dressed formally as usual, umbrella and all, he sat down facing the glass and proceeded to unfold the paper under his arm.

After floating by a few times trying to read the news, Sherlock darted to John, fin flicking a short message, S - T - O - P / C - O - D - E.

The urgent message made John want to see what Sherlock had read on the paper and managed to catch Mycroft before he folded it away. There on the offered page was a small article questioning “Are Sea Life’s Fish Intelligent?” Below was a little black and white picture of their tank and, sure enough, the black shapes of John and Sherlock within. The paper itself was one of those silly “Are aliens cavorting amongst my sheep?!” types, but still, the fact that someone had written in to say they’d seen the fish at the aquarium doing code and talking to each other in an intelligent manner was unsettling. And who knew who else would see it and start watching a little closer.


MODS: may I have tags for fem!moriarty and fem!sebastian moran, please?

Midnight Honesty Post: Day 8

Aug. 19th, 2017 12:22 am
[personal profile] theandrewhickey
Spent much of the day trying to sort out [personal profile] hollymath's clearing application (she's going back to university as a mature student next month to do a linguistics degree) so didn't get much writing done til late, but managed to get 1252 words done -- a blog post on what Liberalism means to me and why it bears no relation to the straw-liberals regularly being attacked on Twitter at the moment.

While I am moaning...

Aug. 18th, 2017 11:05 pm
lovingboth: ([default])
[personal profile] lovingboth
.. my earphones seem to be broken on return from BiCon: there's a problem just before the socket end that doesn't look to be fixable without the sort of soldering I can't do and which would cost more than their replacement cost to have done.

Given that they're seven years old - they were the set that came with the HTC Desire I bought after BiCon 2010! - I perhaps shouldn't complain too much. The average life expectancy for a pair of L's is a lot closer to seven weeks, rather than seven years, but that means she's worked through all my spares.

The main reason for moaning is that the 'foam cover, held in by the shape of your ear' type have become a lot harder to find thanks to the rise of the 'silicone mushroom, in your ear canal' type.

Which I really don't like.

When Amazon had a very good price on them, I got a pair of SoundMAGIC ES18 ones back in 2014. While the sound is good, every time something taps on the cables, you can feel it in a way that you can't with the proper :) sort. I don't like the feel or the increased noise isolation. They're also harder to protect because, as I'm sure many people know thanks to the sort of other things that gets BiCon sessions of their own, once silicone is torn, you can't repair it.

So I'm currently looking at the Sennheiser MX 375. I've had another pair of Sennheiser earphones that weren't nearly as comfortable as others, but I can't remember which they were - L broke them.

Any other suggestions?

WELL

Aug. 18th, 2017 02:27 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
I've deleted the post I wrote this morning when I was certain I wouldn't get on the linguistics course, because it would look stupid now that I have been offered a place!

It still has to be sorted out but I'm making Andrew do all that stuff because I don't actually understand how clearing works. But I had a phone call with a nice person from the department who seemed surprised when I was surprised she said she would like to offer me a place on the course, heh. I don't think I composed myself very well during that conversation, but she didn't change her mind anyway!

Holy shit, you guys, they're letting me do linguistics at Manchester University.

Starting in a month!

I've already enlisted the help of [personal profile] barakta who knows a lot about financing and disability stuff, which is awesome, but really I have no idea how to go to university in this country.

I was pretty sure this wasn't going to work. Not for impostor-syndrome kinds of reasons, real ones. They didn't hide how hesitant they were about me: because I didn't take AP classes (my poor rural school didn't offer any, though I spent all my high school life being told I should have been taking them and I think that'd have worked far better for me anyway), I didn't take the SAT because I'm from the Midwest and was looking at colleges in the Midwest, I didn't have the grades in college because I was so fucking mental but still years away from realizing it.

I was sure this wasn't going to work. Because that's what happens to me: I can do things but can't prove I can do the things. Same with job interviews all the time.

Everyone on Twitter is happy, bless them all, but it still hasn't sunk in for me.
nanila: little and wicked (mizuno: lil naughty)
[personal profile] nanila
Poll #18711 Eye candy
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 46


Which?

View Answers

Vin Diesel
9 (19.6%)

Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock
18 (39.1%)

Yes, yes please
9 (19.6%)

Fast AND furious, hurr hurr
7 (15.2%)

No thanks, fit bald men aren't my thing
14 (30.4%)

I have a really short attention span. What was the question?
7 (15.2%)

Cake, anyone?
23 (50.0%)

Ticky!
16 (34.8%)

More fodder for the book!

Aug. 18th, 2017 10:52 am
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
Yesterday morning I saw I'd been tagged in a tweet where Andrew linked to this, saying "Jesus Christ. By this standard, @hollyamory and I are in a 'marriage of convenience.'"

The article is about a High Court ruling saying that a "genuine couple can enter in a marriage of convenience." Even people who are in a real relationship, not seeking a "sham marriage," can apparently be told that they can't get married because by doing so one of them would attain an "immigration advantage."

Which, yeah. Is exactly what Andrew and I did. With no other avenue of study or work open to us in the mental/physical/financial state we were in at the time (or indeed at any time since), the only way for us to stay in the same country was to get married.

As I pointed out in a series of angry follow-up tweets, the only reason we needed an "immigration advantage" is because being poor and disabled have been declared immigration disadvantages. Marriage is the only route available to current non-EU citizens who don't make £35,000 a year. (Maybe one day that (or its successor at a no-doubt higher salary threshold) will apply to non-EU citizens too.) This is not the fault of any people getting married.

This is not the fault of people getting married.

You may start to see now why I hate the Home Office, why I am the unusual rat who jumped on to the sinking ship of Brexit Britain. Andrew and I both really don't want to but also can't move to the U.S., and there's no other country that will have us both. So if we're going to stay in the same country, it has to be the UK. So I want to feel as secure in that as possible.

When I started talking about this on Twitter, a lot of my friends pointed out that marriage is a legal status so of course people are going to enter into it for legal reasons: tax, inheritance, child guardianship, lots of things. In the UK, increasingly few people get married solely for religious reasons, so legal elements are going to be part of the decision for a lot of people. Yet it's a bad thing if any of those reasons are immigration-related?

Increasingly I'm realizing how much higher a standard immigrants are held to than the native citizens of not just the UK but certainly the U.S. too (where, y'know, immigrants and visitors actually have to say they're not Nazis!) and no doubt other countries as well. It's so frustrating to see this everywhere.

The Blood is the Life for 18-08-2017

Aug. 18th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

Just One Thing (18 August 2017)

Aug. 18th, 2017 08:22 am
nanila: YAY (me: abby)
[personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] awesomeers
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.

Go!

Midnight Honesty Post: Day 7

Aug. 18th, 2017 12:02 am
[personal profile] theandrewhickey
Actually back to writing properly today.
Blog post talking about SF books not by white men: 1388 words
The Basilisk Murders: 518 words today, total 41862

Total wordcount for the day 1906 words

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 09:43 pm
ludy: a painting i did looking in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] ludy
I have a new laptop (huge thanks to the wonderful [personal profile] oilrig for sorting it after my old emergency one stopped usefully working (which was somehow more annoying than the previous one actually stopping working because it wasn't taunting me by seeming like it should be usable). So there will prolly be more posts that need a keyboard and/or dictation software here soon.
But not today because i misjudged how far along in my convalesce i actually am and tried to do too much and need to go splat now...

Getting stuff done

Aug. 17th, 2017 09:17 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
I've had a better week this week anyway, but it's also been a busier one.

Monday and Tuesday I got a lot of stuff done around the house: caught up with everything that I let slide over the weekend while I was away and the week or so before when my mental health had been too bad. We're at only normal levels of disorganized and cluttered now, and while it's kind of sad that feels like an achievement, at least it's an achievement.

Tuesday I got a key and directions for feeding a friend's cats while she was away for a couple of days. She kindly paid me very generously for this, which was completely unexpected but so nice. I was worried I'd forget but I didn't! Even managed to feed them at about their usual times, except it was a bit later this morning because I slept badly last night.

Yesterday I had a meeting of the VI steering group I'm no longer running. The team manager who gets paid for it is sorting out the meeting dates and telling everyone about them, which honestly I think works better anyway. I feel bad I'm not doing it, especially since I'm interested in other volunteering things -- at this meeting I met someone from the Disabled People's Access Group who says I'd be good to join in some other stuff she does that did sound interesting to me.

On my bus ride there, I got to hear the finished product of a great fanfic audio story that I did one of the voices for. I wasn't too cringeworthy and the story turned out great. I really hope there are more stories in the series, partly because it'd be fun to play my one again, partly just because I want to see what happens.

Yesterday Andrew also got further in applying me for this university course; he actually talked to the clearing people. They asked for a scan of my high school diploma, which since it's at my parents' I was worried would be quite a challenge, but my dad's e-mailed it over this evening and said it was easy. Well done, clever parents!

This morning I had another meeting about a totally different volunteer thing. It's at Manchester Museum, involves some really cool technology and senior people who are very keen to get the expertise of visually impaired people. I am super excited. That probably won't start for a month at least, so at exactly the same time as Lib Dem Conf and this uni course if I get on it and so I am sure that will be fine. No really, I will make it all work.

And this afternoon my friend Mary was in town, which I hadn't known about until a couple of days ago. She's usually near Norwich so this is quite remarkable. I hadn't seen her in more than a year, since the weekend of falling in the river in Oxford (sadly you can't see the pictures right now; I still need to figure out how to get them off Photobucket and to somewhere useful). A train derailment (not hers!) meant she got in a bit later than planned but we still had time to rush around finding somewhere still open where she could buy euros for her trip to Ireland tomorrow and have dinner in a pub. Battered halloumi and chips for both of us (but I swapped my chips for sweet potato fries because sweet potatoes are great and regular potatoes are not). She'd never had halloumi like that before! We bitched about politics and she taught me some Irish words (I will probably forget them again, like I did last time, except not the one for "penis" because it has a joke as a mneomic device).

Saturday is the "Bi Takeover for Pride" event at the LGBT Foundation, which honestly I am treating like another bit of BiCon, down to going along to see people I know who are going as much as I'm there for any of the workshops. So that should be nice.

So yeah. Good week. Glad to know they're still possible.

[food] Beans bourdeto, sort of

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:24 pm
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
I went to Corfu! I was introduced to Corfiot bean stew! I was a fan. I am also struggling to track down a recipe that will let me recreate the But That's Amazing Though that I experienced there, because it's generally made with fish and there are relatively few recipes online, which means my ability to take the average of multiple recipes is limited. Nonetheless!

Read more... )

... which I served up with The Rice Of My People, which I'd apparently somehow not made for A before; he is a Fan. It turns out. Read more... )
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
Monday is my birthday, and to celebrate Jane is going to show me around Paris for a long weekend. We're off tomorrow morning, and arriving back on my actual Birthday (Monday), which is _also_ the anniversary of the first time she hugged me (after she came to the airport to meet me off the plane back from my trip around the Southlands).

I arrived home to discover that she had made this wonder in the living room:


And I am looking forward to being allowed to open any of the things underneath it!

(Jim is being left with strict instructions that he is not allowed to eat any of the boxes. Or the tree. Or be sick on any of them. Or peek inside.)
lovingboth: ([default])
[personal profile] lovingboth
I've been using Firefox as my primary browser from before it was called that, so rapidly approaching fifteen years.

The two things that have kept me using it rather than a Chromium-based browser are:

a) It can cope with having many hundreds of tabs open. Unlike Chromium-based ones, opening a new tab does not lead to creating a whole new instance of the code and so greatly increasing the memory footprint.

b) The add-ons library, some of which - like Tab Mix Plus - are essential for having hundreds of tabs open.

Most other browsers have add-ons, so you can run the essential uBlock Origin* in them, but they're still way way behind in terms of the size of the Firefox library.

And Mozilla are about to piss that advantage away by, from v57 due in November, not loading the large majority of them any more. All add-ons will have to use a relatively new API. This will make it easier to port them between browsers, but while I know that Mozilla don't care about being #1 in browser usage, this is ensuring that more people will move away.

For example, I do not like the layout that Firefox moved to a few years ago. It's less efficient in terms of screen space and speed, and while there are some people who think it looks a bit prettier, I don't want my browser distracting from the content.

I am not the only one who thinks this way and, fortunately, one of them wrote an addon to use the classic layout (or twiddle in about a hundred ways with it). You could probably do the same by playing with about:config, but this makes it easy. And it's not down as having been ported to the new API.

There is at least one browser that is based on the free Firefox source and isn't going to do this, but relying on a browser with a very small developer base is.. risky, both in terms of getting caught by a security issue because of a delay in patching, and in having it still maintained long-term.

Grrr.

* The ad blocker of choice ever since AdBlock Plus sold out.

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